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The Blue & Gray Press | June 23, 2017

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Poetry Brawl!

By Stacy Keser

There was a poetry brawl Nov. 20 during Late Night at the Nest— between two poets.
It was a very intense, but friendly competition between Max Samsky and Taja Winston, junior. Poetry has been and is part of both their lives, it is not only their talent, but their passion as well.
Samsky has written poetry since he was 13 years old. He started off writing short stories, but soon realized his interest was more focused in poetry.
“I used to write short stories, but never seemed to get past the first couple of pages, so I just decided to stick with writing poetry, Samsky said.”
He writes based on his own experiences mostly, but sometimes creates stories on his own and writes on that as well.
“I do write on personal experiences, but sometimes I create an image in my head and write on that,” Samsky said. “Sometimes when I write, it just happens.”
He likes to experiment with different styles of poetry so that it is more unique and original.
“I write a lot from the unconscious point of view, which I know it is sometimes hard for people to understand it because of that, but I like to experiment with different styles and themes.”
Samsky does not have a lot of experience reading poetry to the public.  The Nest poetry brawl was not his usual act.
“The poetry brawl was a bit of a rarity for me. I didn’t read any of my super personal poems. I tried to generalize them so that people could relate to what I was reading.
Samsky felt that the competition was good and enjoyed himself very much. It was exciting for him. Although it was late night, so he was a little frustrated with the noise level, but still had fun and admires Winston’s poetry.
“Over all, I thought it was close and a good match and it was exciting I like listening to others,” Stasky said. “Late Night as expected was a bit loud, so it was frustrating because I do want people to listen, but I just tried to stay focus and have fun with it.”
Winston was the other competitor at the poetry brawl. Like Samsky, she also has a passion for poetry and drama.
She started writing in 2nd grade and started out writing short stories as well. She began to create these stories that got shorter and shorter, only to realize as she got older that these were actually poems and really got into it after that.
Winston, who has performed at Nuyorican Cafe in New York City, was actually more nervous about the UMW poetry.
“I was so nervous. My hands were shaking, she said. “I am fine with performing in front of people I do not know, but it was defiantly a change doing this in front of people I know.”
She agrees with Max that the noise at the poetry brawl was a little frustrating.
“The noise at the nest was somewhat frustrating, Winston said. “But then I looked up and saw people that were feeling my poetry, and it inspired me and kept me going.”
Taja really enjoys the inspiration aspect of poetry. It is her passion, and to have the ability and the power to inspire and touch people is very important to her.
“There could be 100 people I read my poetry to, and if I could inspire at least one of those 100 people, it would absoulty be worth it.” I want to inspire and change people’s lives.”
As much as Taja has loved poetry, it has not been  easy to pursue this dream of hers.  She doubted herself at first, and her parents were a bit skeptical with her pursuing a drama career, so she took business courses instead. But she knew that’s not want she wanted.
“It was hard, because my parents did not want me to get into drama. But I decided to go for it anyway because it was my passion. I mean I love to inspire, it is what I want to do.”
“Do what you believe in. Follow your dreams, my parent didn’t want it, but I did it anyway and love every second of it.”

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